Latte art just makes the drink more enjoyable! Photo by Skyler Belmonte.
By Skyler Belmonte, Staff Writer
Oh, how I miss walking across campus with a warm vanilla latte in one hand and struggling to carry my books in the other. Or, convincing myself I had enough time to cram in a quick stop at the Union Grind for a chocolatey café mocha before class. Sorry professors, if I was ever late, it was most likely because I gave into my cravings.
If it is not already obvious, I am a coffee enthusiast. I would say “coffee addict,” but that just sounds too harsh. So, I will stick to the lovely title, “enthusiast.”
My favorite coffee shop near campus is Urth Caffe, located at 4940 West 147th St., in Hawthorne. It is a short 10-minute drive to a European-style café that offers delicious pastries, healthy meal options, and the best part- THE COFFEE! If you love something cold and filled with ice first thing in the morning, like moi, then I recommend ordering the Spanish Latte Granita. It is very creamy, flavorful, and sweet.
Urth Caffe is the perfect spot for study dates because of the comfortable and peaceful environment. The smooth jazz echoing from the speakers helps create a soothing, relaxing vibe. Don’t worry about dressing up. Come in sweats, bring your books, and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Your stomach is growling, and you have an hour before your next class, where do you go? Well, if you ever find yourself in the mood for some yummy, sticky boba and the best garlic noodles you ever had, I suggest you head on over to Hiccups in Carson. It is a short ten-minute drive from campus. The Asian fusion cafe is another hot spot in the South Bay and is popular for small bites, refreshing teas, and coffee. Like Urth Caffe, Hiccups is definitely one of my go-to’s for studying.
Since it is a local favorite, you can expect to wait a while for your order. I always call my order ahead and take it back to enjoy on a campus bench. If you want to dine in, dress casually and take advantage of their spacious outdoor seating.
Milk tea lovers, this location is for you! Ding Tea has definitely been added to the list of my favorite cafes. It is a five-minute drive from campus located at 20771 South Avalon Blvd., in Carson. Don’t worry, you can squeeze this into your schedule. This spot is ideal for someone who is craving a quick and easy snack. The savory macarons and honey milk tea with boba always satisfy my sweet tooth. The best part is it never makes me feel sluggish, or too full before class.
For my adventurous coffee lovers, if you are feeling spontaneous and have 20 minutes to spare, I suggest you drive to downtown Los Angeles and visit Earth Bean Coffee. This café, located at 1040 South Los Angeles St., is popular for serving the freshest, organic coffee beans. Along with the exceptional, and inviting customer service, guests are rewarded with an amazing presentation. The barista roasts your beans right in front of you and adds a few special tricks when preparing your latte. I recommend ordering their specialty, a creme brûlée latte. Stand back as they toast the iconic latte with a lighter and watch the fiery goodness melt into a warm, creamy cup of joe. The prices are reasonable, and the outdoor patio is perfect for Instagram selfies!
It is critical that we find small moments throughout our day to spend time with ourselves, and indulge in what makes us happy, even if it is just a simple cup of coffee. As we continue to live in a virtual world, I encourage you to utilize your leisure time, and visit one of these cafes. A breath of fresh air with a warm cup of coffee is sometimes all we need to relax, and refocus. Remember, a latte a day keeps the bad vibes away.